Rory McIlroy laughs as he addresses the most ridiculous (?) thing he's ever said

Rory McIlroy says his famous comments about the Ryder Cup in 2009 couldn't be further from the truth of the eve of the 2023 contest.

Ben Smith's picture
Mon, 25 Sep 2023
Rory McIlroy laughs as he addresses the most ridiculous (?) thing he's ever said

Given Rory McIlroy burst into tears when Europe's miserable Ryder Cup fate was all-but sealed two years ago, it's hard to believe the Northern Irishman once said the contest wasn't important to him. 

To remind you, it was in 2009 the Northern Irishman famously said of the tussle between Europe and the United States:

"It's not that important an event for me. It's an exhibition at the end of the day. Obviously, I'll try my best for the team but I'm not going to be running around fist pumping." 

How times change and McIlroy, whether he likes it or not, will be the leader of Luke Donald's team. 

He has already said he won't be making rousing dressing room speeches but he will make sure he will set a good example to the rookies.

After the BMW PGA Championship, McIlroy stressed for his desire to make sure he's the first one to a team meeting and the first one to the team bus. 

And he'll lead with his clubs of course. Hopefully. 

Reflecting on the nature of his 2009 comments, McIlroy told the DP World Tour official website:

"I said that in my naivety as a young swashbuckling lad. I now have been part of the Ryder Cup a lot and what those three quotes are couldn't be further from the truth.
"Obviously I had watched Ryder Cups on TV, I had cheered for the European team and I played team golf before but it's just a completely different environment once you get in there and seeing how much it means to everyone."

He added:

"It is the purest competition in golf and to me it doesn't get any better than that. You can't replicate that feeling of playing as part of a team and winning and feeling like you have contributed in some way and you've done it for other people and not just yourself."


McIlroy and Team Europe arrived in Italy on 25 September ahead of the contest which begins on Friday. 

The Ulsterman looked fresh as a daisy when he got off the team bus. 

Four-time major champion McIlroy went on a stag do over the weekend. He was warned by captain Donald to take it easy

This will be McIlroy's seventh Ryder Cup appearance. Over 24 matches, he has won 12, halved four and lost 12. 

Read more: